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Presbyterian Church Schools' Resource Office Newsletter

April 2016

Kia ora tatou and welcome to the Resource Office newsletter for Term Two.
I hope you will find things here which are of interest, encouragement and support in strengthening and developing the Special Character in your school.

This year's Presbyterian Church Schools' conference is in the final planning stages. Online registration will be available in early June.
A reminder that the conference with the theme of Flourishing in Faith | Te Puwaitanga i te Whakapono will be held on Thursday August 4th and Friday August 5th in Hawkes Bay. The conference itself will be held at Iona College, Havelock North and the conference dinner will be held at Lindisfarne College in Hastings.

At the beginning of April I attended a conference in Brisbane called Transforming Service. The conference was a gathering of 120 educators including chaplains and RE/CE teachers from Australia (and four of us from NZ, including Mark Robinson, Service Co-ordinator at Saint Kentigern College) looking at 'service learning' in church-based schools. You can read more about the conference here. I will be processing some of the learning and reflections from the conference over the next few months with the intention of developing resources for our network. A good resource already available in this area is the Religious Studies 2.3 Achievement Standard on Ethics/Service written by Jennifer Macleod of John McGlashan College in Dunedin. I commend this resource to you even if you do not offer NCEA Religious Studies standards.

Ka kite ano
Sharon Ross Ensor

News from schools

I enjoyed being able to visit a good number of the schools in our network during Term One and reconnecting with Principals, Chaplains and RE teachers after the Summer break. It was great to meet new Chaplains and Principals and welcome them to the network.
It was a privilege to be involved in the commissioning service for Dr Sandra Hastie, previously Principal at Saint Kentigern Girls' School and now Principal at Rangi Ruru Girls' School in Christchurch. Coming into the church at Rangi Ruru while the whole school performed a haka in honour of the occasion was a spine-tingling moment..
Congratulations to Scots College in Wellington and Solway College in Masterton who are both celebrating their centenaries this year.
Scots started their centenary celebrations with an outdoor chapel service attended by the Presbyterian Church's Assembly Moderator, Rt Rev Andrew Norton and the Wellington Regional Moderator, Rev Clare Lind. A few days later the celebrations continued with a street parade from Queen Margaret College in Thorndon (the original site of Scots College) along Lambton Quay and finishing at Parliament. You can see some of the highlights of both of those events in these short videos 

Solway College's centenary celebration was held over Waitangi Weekend and it was packed full with a wonderful variety of events celebrating the history of the College and its place within the Masterton community. The Sunday morning thanksgiving service was followed by Old Girls of the College laying a wreath at the grave of Founding Principal, Marion Thompson. Catherine Chapman, Marion Thompson's grand-daughter paid tribute to Marion as an outstanding leader and extraordinary woman.

Useful web-sites and resources for Christian Education classes and chapel.

Tales of Iona is an online game which has been developed in a joint project between the University of Aberdeen's School of Education, the Iona Cathedral Trust and Hyper Luminal Games Ltd. 
The resource is aimed at P6-S3 (which I am  told equates to Year 6-10 in NZ terms).
 A monk figure guides gamers through the learning with tasks and challenges along the way enabling them to learn about St Columba and Pilgrimage.
There is also a virtual library which provides a place to learn more about various topics relevant to the Iona/St Columba story.
The web-site address is .A number of our schools explore the story of Iona, St Columba and other related saints. I'd love to hear if this resource is something you've been able to make use of.

The Coloured Glass Classroom  
This blog has regular posts of creative ideas and resource links to help you engage the young people in your religious and Christian education classes. It is sponsored by the Anglican Schools Commission of the Anglican Church Southern Queensland.

Earth Day and Caring for the Creation resources: Earth Day is held annually on April 22nd as a way of highlighting the need to care for the planet and work towards sustainability. Even though the official date has passed, this is a topic which can be explored at any time of the year. I have collected a few resources  which might be useful for you if you want to explore this theme in chapel or the classroom. The Illustrated Children's Ministry creation resource might be of particular interest given the current craze on colouring in.
Fear and Courage: Fiona Delaney, Christian Education teacher at St Oran's College did some work with her Year 11 students following on from a seminar I led with them on the theme of Fear and Courage towards the end of last year. Given the approaching end of year exams, Fiona encouraged the students to reflect on and develop their own 'courageous phrase'. You can read more here. 

Jesus and Brian Susan Mudford, Head of Christian Education at Saint Kentigern College recently attended a lecture on 'Jesus and Brian: Exploring the historical Jesus and his times via Monty Python's Life of Brian' presented by Professor Joan Taylor of King's College London and held at Auckland University. You can read information about the lecture and Susan's reflections in regards to its relevance for Christian Education here

Christian World Service - Operation Refugee

One of the things I've been personally involved in over the last few months is supporting a Syrian refugee family, through the Red Cross Refugee Support Volunteer programme, as they settle into their new life in Wellington, . It has been an enormously enriching experience and has highlighted to me the depth of trauma and the need for us to give whatever support we can to those who are refugees.
Operation Refugee is a project of Christian World Service, the official aid and development agency for a number of denominations in NZ including the Presbyterian church.
Operation Refugee provides an opportunity to support refugees by living on the same rations as a Syrian refugee during Refugee Week (June 16-20) and raising as much money as possible in the process (the suggested minimum is $500). This is a great opportunity for families to do something together...the student can do the eating of the rations, but the parents can do the cooking and the family can raise the money within their family or community groups.
CWS supplies the rations and participants sign up family and friends as sponsors. 
Gordon Fitch, the Presbyterian National Youth Manager and I have signed up to Operation Refugee...maybe you, your students or other staff members might also be willing to rise to the challenge!
The challenge is open to 100 participants who must be at least 16 years old to take part.
You can  register at 
The toolkit with more detailed information is available here.
For more information you can contact David Lawson

Wider Presbyterian Church news:

Kids Friendly resources

The latest Kids Friendly newsletter contains wonderful resources and ideas for your work with children in your schools including ideas for Mothers Day (May 8th) and Pentecost (May 15).
The Love Reaches Out art and writing competition is running from Monday May 2 to Friday August 26. The theme for this year is 'Love in Action', challenging children to consider how we can tangibly show love to others in our daily lives. The competition is an annual joint project of Kids Friendly and Presbyterian Support and comes with prizes! The competition is open to children in pre-school through to year 8. Entries may be visual arts or writing and will be judged within age groups. Art may be submitted as an individual or group project. 
Kaila Pettigrove, one of the Kids Friendly team, is in the final stages of completing a curriculum resource for schools on  “Love in Action” (Social Justice). 
There will be five lessons with each lesson focussing on scripture to support the “cause” that is being explored, then a New Zealand charity that does work in that area (each has Christian foundations if not a current Christian ethos). There is then a challenge time to plan something that the children might do on their own with community, school or family-based activities suggested as a springboard.
Lesson themes and highlighted 'causes':
-Caring for God’s Creatures  (SPCA)
-Caring for “Outsiders”  (Salvation Army)
-Caring for the Differently-Abled (Elevate)
-Caring for God’s Creation (A Rocha) 
-An intergenerational celebration of “Love in Action”  (Where the entire school can benefit from what classes have been learning.) 
Global Mission Office. 
The newly published newsletter Nambawan is full of news about the PCANZ's connection with the Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu. There are a lot of exciting things happening in the Presbyterian NZ/Vanuatu relationship in regard to rebuilding after Cyclone Pam and  the mutual sharing of skills and experiences.
Contact Phil King, the Global Mission Co-ordinator for more information or to discuss the opportunity to connect with schools in Vanuatu.


Gordon Fitch, our National Youth Manager and Matt Chamberlin our National Youth Director are always available to help with resources and advice around youth issues. You can also visit the Presbyterian Youth Ministry web-site for access to a huge range of Christian education resources and reviews. 

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